#MCS – Following the Media – 1/22/11 through 1/24/11

Yawn… Long weekend. And really nothing new.

Whalum still doesn’t take Bill Gates at his word. Gatewood is still defending her honor from attacks from County Commissioner Terry Roland. The State Legislature is still on vacay. Memphis still owes MCS however much money we owe them. And Jeff Warren is still desperately seeking to pass something…anything. Whether it’s binding or not.

Until something significant changes, this is the way it will likely stay at least until the Legislature comes back into session.

Yesterday, County Commissioner Sidney Chism opined that the state won’t interfere in the election. That doesn’t mean the legislature won’t pass something, that means he believes the Governor won’t sign it. That said, the lack of a signature doesn’t mean it won’t become law. In fact, if the Governor sits on his hands for ten days after receipt of the passed bill, it becomes law automatically. If he actively vetoes it, a simple majority of both houses of the State Legislature can override that veto. So, if the Governor really doesn’t want to weigh in on the issue, what are the chances of him actively vetoing the legislation?

Oh, our passive aggressive state government.

I’ve had some people contact me to float the theory that the bill proposed by Sen. Mark Norris was part of some botched attempt at carrot/stick diplomacy. Call me crazy, but I never saw the carrot. If anything, Sen. Norris’ bill did do one thing, confirm the beliefs of those who voted for surrender that the newly minted Republican majority in the State Legislature is both unpredictable and untrustworthy. In fact, State Rep. GA Hardaway all but predicted this very outcome. Way to instill trust guys.

It was reported last week that the County Commission was preparing to set districts for the newly unified Shelby County School District. To that end, an opinion was sought and received on the statutory authority of the Commission to redraw the districts. The opinion states that the County Commission may reapportion the Shelby county Board of Education in accordance with Federal and State law. Furthermore, rather than calling a new election, the Commission has the authority to appoint new members to the newly constituted Board until such time as the normal electoral cycle would cause a new election. The opinion does not speak to the size of the newly constituted board, but under the quoted state law, there seem to be no size prohibitions.

So, that’s gonna happen, and probably sooner rather than later.

For now, enjoy the quiet before the storm. There are going to be some televised debates and this and that, but unless you’re just really in to watching people rehash what’s happened over the past two months, or need to get up to speed, I don’t see that much new information coming out of them. Of course, if it’s even so much as phrased differently, it will be reported as new.

The real action will likely come after the vote, when the courts get involved, and as County Commissioner Chism notes, they will. More of the details will be decided in court than anywhere else. How long those decisions drag out is largely dependent on how far the plaintiffs want to go in the appeals process. All of this will depend on who decides to file first and for what reason. If you think it’s complicated now, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

Thus ends the broken record portion of this post.

All in all, the speed of reporting on this seems to have slowed considerably. There just isn’t that much new to report, and much of the rehashing has been done to death. Of course, sweeps is in February, so don’t be surprised at what you may see. If the misleading reporting about the pregnancy rate at Frayser High is any indication, there’s likely to be a good deal of screw ups in the next month that never get corrected.

Buyer beware.

January 22, 2011

Whalum Skeptical of Gates Foundation Grant’s Safety
If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Be ‘Em!: City Schools and County Schools Prepare to Trade Places
Memphis School Board Member Fires Back at Her Accusers
Town Hall Meeting Addresses Concerns about MCS Charter Surrender

January 23, 2011

Showdown over schools: So much unsaid in Memphis vote on charter
City Council’s Debt To MCS Likely Still Owed
Study offers glimpse at possible impact of school consolidation
Gatewood Denies Her Charter Vote was ‘Bought’

January 24, 2011

Televised debates will help explain referendum issues
Questionable future of optional schools does not deter hopeful parents
Memphis City Schools board member Jeff Warren to offer up another option
Germantown residents examine possibility of creating city school district
City, County Schools Leaders Address Critical Issues
Millington Mayor Sounds Off on Merger
School Board Hears ‘Umbrella’ Proposal
Memphis School Teachers Concerned About Jobs and Benefits if Merger Happens
County Commission Chairman Predicts No Troubles From Nashville On Schools
School charter plan tests lukewarm waters
Warren Rolls Out More Detailed Compromise For Feb. 28 Board Vote

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